Luxury coach operator swears by 360* camera

Monday, March 30, 2015 - 12:47
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Camera sees all

Centaur, a luxury coach operator based in Crayford, were having increasing issues around vehicle damage due to the rear swing

With a fleet of 100 minibuses and coaches and a reputation as one of the most reliable and secure passenger transport services in the UK, Centaur needed a viable solution.

The company operates all over the UK and abroad but has seen a particular increase of challenges when driving in Central London. Congestion and vulnerable road users require drivers to be very skilled when manoeuvring around the city as they are required to switch between looking at mirrors, monitors, windows and the windscreen in quick succession and process the information, often not seeing the whole picture.

For Centaur, the biggest problem is with the blind spot due to the rear swing as it creates potential hazards in the city such as collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, motorbikes and other vehicles.

Matt Sims, Managing Director of Centaur explains: “Judging the point of the rear corners, in relation to traffic behind and to one side, is the most difficult part of driving a big vehicle in my view, and the area most prone to collision and damage on a coach.”

For this reason, Centaur trialled Brigade’s Backeye®360 Select system on their Scania Omin Express Tri-Axle Coach. This intelligent camera monitor system is designed to assist low speed manoeuvrability by providing the driver with a real-time surround view of the vehicle in a single image.

Using four ultra wide-angle cameras that each cover one full side of the vehicle with a viewing angle of 180°, it captures all of the surrounding area including the blind spot of the vehicle.

Matt agrees: “The system, from a driver’s point of view, is brilliant. It seems to eliminate blind spots completely, there simply is nowhere a cyclist or car can ‘hide’.”

Matt concludes, “In my honest opinion, it’s absolutely going to save lives and with four cyclist and HGV fatalities this year in London – the sooner it becomes mandatory the better. While I’m not advocating it, you could, quite safely, drive without any mirrors if you had to.”

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